No: 5
Frank Lebouef
This choice came to me while watching the recent international between France and Scotland, and I get the feeling this decision will be agreed with and frowned on. After all I am about to claim that a World Cup Winner is Over Rated.

So there I was watching the highlights of this International and the score is already 4-0. The Scots are not in it...until Big Frank comes on that is. All of a sudden the Scots create 3 good chances by getting behind Lebouef. I then found myself sat there wondering how the hell France of all teams are still playing this player. And it was only then when thinking about it that I start to come to the thought that Frank has always been a liability dispite being rated highly by a lot of people......but why?
Frank how can I put this......Your Shit
We all first became aware of Lebouef when he was brought over here by Gullit the then Chelsea Boss. He was brought from Stazbourg. Frank started his career in great form and was soon putting in performances that were getting him noticed. He came across as a cultured defender who could play the ball out of defence, something only a handful of English defenders at tops could do. His calm and composed style of play stood out. But it was also hiding in my opinion something else.
Old Frankie boy here had no pace and his timing was well off. It is a comman myth that world class strikers in the Premiership hardly ever got past him. Sorry but when ever I have seen him the strikers seem to target him when coming forward. Compared to Desailly, Lebouef was an easy touch. He is constantly out paced by forwards and those with a bit of trickery would leave him for dead. Once the Premiership got wind of this after a season or so, it was not long before this laid back, calm and cultured defender was picking up bookings and red cards. The reason, he was getting beaten more and more. Chelsea fans even got to the stage where they would all hold their breath when he went in for a tackle inside the box. Frank was now even starting to give away penalties. Yet dispite this, Lebouef seemed to keep the reputaion of being one of the best defenders in the league. Backed up with his World Cup winners medal, Lebouef carried on leaving holes in the Chelsea defence. Desailly forced to play out of his skin week after week.
Now of course you don't win a World Cup if you are totally crap, and Lebouef is a good reader of the game, he has the ability to see passes before they happen and can cut out danger. But if the ball is played round the back of him he is finished. If a player runs at him the result is either a free kick to the attacking team or the player will go past him.
His calm manner gives him the air of someone in control, maybe this has been adapted to hide his inablility in other area's of the game. France are a great team but they do seem to be left wanting in defence when the big players are missing. Lebouef was Blanc's back up in the 98 World Cup and only played in the final because of a cruel card for Blanc in the semi. Now Blanc has finished at that level and still Lebouef is not a regular. Instead the usual tactic is to move Thurman across from full back. But Lebouef still seems to get a look in now and then thus collecting along the way these medals. Leaving him there to stand up and anounce that he is a better player than he really is.
Lebouef, is slow, bad in the tackle and is beaten with every ball played round the back of him. Scotland exposed this within minutes of him coming on and so did many a team in the Premiership. When he did finally leave Chelsea, they didn't look like they missed him at all. And there was hardly a rush of clubs that came in for him when he publically announced that he was off. The truth is now out. The defender you all regarded as one of the best to play in the Premiership, is well not all that.
I do not feel that Lebouef deserves the credit he seems to get and feel that he is totally over rated for the player everyone thinks he is. But as I said at the start there will be some out there who agree with me before even reading why I think this. So maybe he is not a rated as I think. But he joins the team on the back of all the hype he got after the World Cup win in '98 when he was on our TV's every other day telling us he had won the World Cup.
Slow, weak in the tackle, beat by skill, Frank Lebouef comes in with the Number 5 Shirt, and is totally over rated.
Over Rated XI